Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Is Book Passage in Trouble?

Book Passage of Corte Madera, one of the Bay Area’s best bookstores, is fighting an attempt to install a mega-Barnes and Noble in a nearby shopping center.

Book Passage has been trying for years to move into the Corte Madera Town Center, a high-end open air mall right off Highway 101 in Marin County. The bookstore is now located about ½ mile away in a smaller, less visible mall.

But the owners of the fancy mall are apparently inclined to let Barnes and Noble move into the space where a Marshall’s used to be, rather than rent to Book Passage. There already is a B&N in the mall, but the new one will be three times the size.

“If this happens, we have no doubt that Barnes & Noble will be using its considerable resources to target Book Passage and try to drive us out of business,” Book Passage owner Elaine Petrocelli wrote on the store’s website. “This is the pattern that they have followed time and time again with other independent bookstores over the last 20 years.”

Never one to take things lying down, Elaine and the staff at Book Passage are asking customers to write to the manager of the Corte Madera Town Center. Information is here.

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